Hollywood offers to assist in war effort

LOS ANGELES: Following up on discussions with White House advisor

Karl Rove, Hollywood's studios, television networks, and unions have

formed a 40-person committee to handle Tinseltown's contributions to the

ongoing war against terrorism.

Headed by Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti,

the committee is focusing on at least three areas: distributing films to

troops abroad, arranging United Service Organization (USO) shows, and

creating PSAs honoring troops and boosting morale.

Included on the committee are communications executives such as Disney

SVP for corporate public service Jody Dreyer, DreamWorks corporate

communications head Andy Spahn, and Warner Bros. EVP of domestic

corporate marketing Brad Ball.

The studios seem to be committed to quick action, and have already

screened first-run films such as Behind Enemy Lines for troops. In

coming weeks, Warner Bros. will send the star-studded cast of Ocean's

Eleven to a military base in Turkey for a screening of the movie, and

Disney is sending Monsters, Inc. to soldiers stationed in Asia.

In addition, all six of the major networks announced plans to develop

and air separate PSAs. Plans for overseas announcements are also in the


In a separate entertainment merger, the USO is also working with MTV to

stage a New Year's Day concert dubbed "For the Troops: An MTV/USO

Special" featuring Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, and Kid Rock at an

undisclosed military base abroad. MTV spokesman Graham James said that

the project is independent of the Hollywood committee, and has been in

the works since September.

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